Medical Marijuana: Key Facts

One of the more interesting legal trends of recent years is the advent of medical marijuana. Many states have adopted legislation that allows people to use this substance to alleviate symptoms from a variety of medical conditions. The following article takes a closer look at this fascinating legal development.


As of December 2018,  a total of 33 States and the District of Columbia have comprehensive laws that allow individuals to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.  A minority of these states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, so that medical use in these areas is a moot point.

Fourteen other states have laws allowing medical marijuana to be used by patients only under certain conditions. For instance, in Louisiana, people seeking to use marijuana for a medical condition can only use pills or oils that contain marijuana. Smoking marijuana, even for a medical condition, is still not allowed under the current state law.


In many states, only certain afflictions qualify for the use of medical marijuana. The list of approved conditions will vary from state to state. Some of the most common are cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. HIV/AIDS is also an approved condition in many states, as the victims of this disease often use medical marijuana to combat symptoms like fatigue and nausea. Some states allow the use of medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder as well.


Depending on your state of residence,  you may need a physician's recommendation to be approved for the use of  medical marijuana. Once the doctor determines that you have a qualifying condition and that marijuana will help alleviate your discomfort, he or she can write out a recommendation that will allow you to register as an approved user of medical marijuana with the state. If your state is one of those that follows this process, you will receive a card that allows you to purchase marijuana at a licensed dispensary.


Once you arrive at the dispensary to obtain your medical marijuana, you need to present your user's card as well as other identification, such as a driver's license. If you have any questions about the various strains of marijuana that you want to ask, the personnel at the dispensary will be happy to answer them. They may even be able to recommend a certain strain that works well for your specific medical problem. In some cases, you might be allowed to use medical marijuana at the dispensary itself.